Anthony Joshua fights for smallest purse in five years ahead of return to ring
| Last updated
Anthony Joshua is set to make his long-awaited return to the ring tonight, eight months after his second crushing defeat to Oleksandr Usyk.
For many, this a make or break moment for the former heavyweight champion of the world.
If he is beaten by underdog Jermaine Franklin at the O2 Arena in London this evening (1 April), experts believe the 33-year-old could be done at the very top of the sport.
Even in the build-up to the fight, Joshua himself admitted that he needs to put on a good performance and stop Franklin quickly.
He told Good Morning Britain: "Well, I keep on getting asked that question. Like, ‘Oh, if you lose, are you gonna retire?’ Sometimes I just feel like I’m not gonna debate with people, so I’ll just be like, ‘Yeah, I’ll retire if I lose'.
"I just kind of give them what they want to hear, and so I’m not gonna debate with people time and time again about the decisions that I can make in my career.
“So, I just kind of said, ‘Yeah, if I lose, I’ll retire,’ and I just left it at that. And now it seems that that’s the common theme, but as I said, winning is part of the programme.”
With is being such a crucial bout for the former Olympic champion, and all eyes on it, you'd imagine that it'd be another big pay day for Joshua.
However, while it's all relative in boxing terms, tonight's fight will be the smallest purse he has fought for in five years.
According to reports, Joshua stands to make around £10 million from his fight against Franklin, which I think it's fair to say most wouldn't turn their noses up at.
But when you consider the fact Joshua's second fight with Usyk, which was held in Saudi Arabia, saw him pocket a colossal £100m, it's a pretty steep drop, isn't it?
And looking back at the past five years, which has seen Joshua step into the ring on seven occasions, only once has he earned £10m for a fight, and that was against Kubrat Pulev in December 2020, which was affected by the Covid pandemic.
Elsewhere, for example, his first fight with Andy Ruiz Jr. in 2019 saw him take home a cool £20m, which rose to £66m for the rematch a few months later.
His 2018 bouts against Joseph Parker and Alexander Povetkin also reportedly saw Joshua make £20m a piece.
And his first fight with Usyk, which took place at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Joshua is said to have taken around £15m.
So yeah, I wouldn't go starting any GoFundMe for him just yet, lads.